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happening in here. if you can control what's happening inside your body, you can change the world outside of it. that's the mantra we need to take into the new year. >> how much of it is mental? >> mental is where you win it all. if you look at the root cause of so many of the problems we face in the lives, it starts up there. you want to start with small, actionable steps. if you realize the sacredness of what we were given when we were born, the uniqueness of this valuable inheritance and treasure it as the temple of the soul, ta louse you to realize this is what all the action really is. it is very core. it is not about competing in the journey of life but about taking a small time-out and realizing the wisdom of how beautiful whatever we were handed is and it takes us to the true bliss of life. >> my own discipline, mental strength, six weeks time, you are coming back and those numbers are coming down. thank you. that's all for tonight. good night. [ applause ]
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good evening. tonight we begin keeping them honest. nearly one month to the day of the horrific shootings in newtown, connecticut, in which 26 people were killed including 20 children, tonight we expose a number of people who are claiming that the sandy hook shootings were staged. now there are always conspiracy theorists on line who come up with some horrifically outrageous claims. normally we would not dig any phi these claims with air time. these claims are sickening for people in newtown who are trying to console family and friends trying to figure out how to restart their lives. normally we wouldn't mention these conspiracy theories. but it turns out one of the ople who's peddling one version of the conspiracy theory is actually a tenured professor at a state university. his name is james tracy. this is a picture of him. this is what he looks like. james tracy is his name.
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he claims the shooting did not happen as reported and may not have happened at all. here's what he wrote on his personal blog and i quote, one is left to inquire whether the sandy hook shooting ever took place, at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation's news media have described. tracy makes the case, if you want to call it that, that news organizations and the government may have worked together to dupe you, the public, in order to gain support for gun control laws. he's even suggesting that the government may have hired trained crisis actors to aid in this ruse. trained crisis actors. he's not convinced the parents whose children were killed are really who they say are. in his blog tracy, again, a professor suggest they may have been, and i quote, trained actors working under the direction of state and federal authorities and in coordination with cable and broadcast network talent to provide tailor made crisis acting, end quote.
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tracy even cites a company called crisis actors that provides actors to use in safety drills and the like. apparently that is supposed to bolster his case. by the way, there is such a company and they are appalled by his comments. in a statement today they said, and i quote, we are avenue outraged by tracy's deliberate promotion of rumor and innuendo to link our actors to the sandy hook shootings. now when a local reporter caught up with tracy and asked him about this outrage, here's what he said. listen. >> reporter: you had 20 families that were mourning that buried children, are you concerned about that? >> well, i think the entire country mourned about sandy hook and yet once again the investigation, that journalistic institution should have carried out and never took place as far as i'm concerned. i think that we need to as a
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society look at things more carefully. perhaps we as a society have been conditioned to be duped. >> now i don't even know what that means, what he is saying, what the words coming out of his mouth means. to suggest that reporters on the ground didn't work to find out what happened there on the ground is beyond crazy. everybody asked questions. that's what we do. journalism isn't a perfect science of course, but to suggest it somehow means the shooting didn't happen, that 20 children weren't killed, that families didn't suffer and weren't still suffering is beyond comprehension and deeply offensive to many. tracy isn't the only one spinning conspiracy theories. on youtube and online this is a website i don't want to mention because i don't want to give them extra traffic. some of them are claiming 6-year-old emilie parker didn't die. they're pointing to a dress she was wearing in a shooting. it's the same dress that emily's
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little sister wore when president obama met with families. these conspiracy theorists are saying that's actually emily on president obama's lap. it's a sick ening claim, obviously, there's no other word for t. there's another one on another website. they use an interview that noah pozner's mother did. here's some of that interview. watch the conversation i had with her first. >> how are you holding up? i mean -- >> most of the time i'm -- i'm kind of numb, you know? i think about -- and i think every mom out there can think about how long it takes to create a baby, those 9 months, that you watch every ultrasound, every heartbeat, and it takes 9 months to kill a human being and it takes seconds for an ar-15 to take that away.
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>> this says she appeared way too composed, that she wasn't crying, her ice weren't red. that's not how a grieving mother looks, which i've got to say is just among the most ridiculous things i've heard. i've interviewed so many people in grief. i've experienced grief myself. to say there's one way someone should grieve is beyond ignorant. now unless you frequent these types of conspiracy websites, you probably never see them. we wouldn't mention it. james tracy, he's a tenured professor at a public university. taxpayers pay part of his salary. in newtown and beyond his comments are triggering intense outrage as you can imagine. in a statement newtown first selectman pat lodra took aim at fau. shame on you, too, fau, to even have someone like this on your payroll. i can assure you that the events occurred exactly as reported. now we invited professor tracy
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to come on the program. he's a professor. he talks in front of students. we would think he would be willing to defend his thesis. he declined. john zarrella went looking for him. you went looking for this guy, this professor. again, we'd like to offer people a platform. if they have an argument which is valid, we want them to express it and see if it actually holds up to scrutiny. you caught up with him. what did you learn? >> yeah, anderson, we actually tried again to get him to come on to your program or at the very least to explain his opportunities. professor tracy said he wasn't willing to do it. so we went to his house and he respectfully declined to meet with me or talk with me at all today. he did say during two telephone
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conversations i had with him today during the first conversation i had with him he said that he would provide me an e-mail response to some of the criticisms that he has been under, the fire he's been under. he said in part in his e-mail response that his observations have been reduced to headlines and sound bytes placing him in a severely negative light. he's confident he's put forth questions befitting any decent and reflective citizen, journalist, or scholar. and he concludes by saying, i apologize for any additional anguish and grief my remarks and how they have been taken out of context and misrepresented may have caused the families who've lost loved ones on december 14th. at the same time i believe the most profound memorial we can give the children and educators who lost their lives on that day is to identify and interrogate
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the specific causes of their tragic and untimely demise end quote, anderson. >> by the way, what is he a professor of? is it like media studies or something? >> yes. yes. communication. he's in the department of communications, correct. >> interestingly, a guy who's in the department of communications does not want to address the media at all. when you asked the president about this, what did they tell you, are they standing by him. >> right. we talked to president mary jane saunders and they are clearly separating themself from professor tracy. >> we want to make it very clear he was speaking as an individual. he was not speaking in his role as a professor. the university has a very different statement about the shootings, the terrible tragedy that took place in newtown, connecticut. the university does not support
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this position. i am heart broken about the additional threats to these families at this time. >> now there's no word on what the university could or would do, anderson. he is a tenured professor, as you mentioned, and, in fact, the blog that he writes on is not in any way affiliated with the university. >> people are free to express themselves as they want. i think, you know, if he's a legitimate professor he should be able to defend his statements. >> in that sort of -- in that statement he gave which it's a nonapology, apology. the story of i'm sorry if i offended someone. one is left to inquire whether the sandy hook shooting ever took place, at least in the way law enforcement and the nation's news media have survived. then he suggests, there may have been, quote, trained actors
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working under state and federal authorities and in cooperation with the broadcast network talent. would they meet with government officials and have hired crisis actors who i've never heard of to go into newtown, someone else not noticing, and somehow pretend to be grieving parents, law enforcement personnel. i mean, it's stunning to me. >> it's stunning and outlandish. he said in the e-mail that he sent to me that the news media failed to thoroughly investigate every aspect of what happened in newtown, but it seemed by his last statement that he's at least attempting to back away some of what he wrote, those
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really strong remarks in that plague. >> also, failure to investigate, yes. we don't have investigation to the crime scene so you can't go in and measure things so you are in some ways relying on government officials, law enforcement officials. but you know i talked to grieving family members who heard from -- i mean, it's very -- obviously upsetting to a lot of people who are there, still there dealing with the aftermath on this coming up with the one month anniversary. it would be interesting to hear what he has to say. i appreciate you trying to track him down. alex did the earlier reporting on this. jonathan kay of the national post and author of "among the truth there is journey among
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america's growing conspiracyists underground." there is a website, blog post all devoted to this absurd theory. >> yeah. if you google emilie parker's name, who i think is actually alive, the very first thing that comes up was a conspiracy website. one of the videos was produced by a 9/11 company. this tells you altogether. i just checked a few minutes ago, it has almost 200,000 views on youtube. alex jones went off against piers morgan the other night. his website has a whole community forum where there are dozens and dozens and dozens of posting about these things. if you google sandy hook hope, you can find all kinds of things. there's a real strain within the
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movement. these are paranoid people who think the government is coming to snatch their guns. >> this is not -- we -- off camera we talked to a number of families today who didn't even want to come on camera because they are too upset about this to even address this. the fact that emilie parker's family, if they google her name and the first thing that would come up would be this sickening conspiracy theory wore the same dress that emilie parker had once worn in a photograph to meet with president obama, i mean, that is just adding insult to injury. why do we see conspiracy theorists pop up in the wake of a tragedy like this? is it simply linked to the whole idea that they believe that the government is trying to take their guns and this is a way they're trying to take guns.
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>> conspiracy theories are explanations for evil. people don't like the idea of random people. it is focused in people whether it's jews, or muslims, or free masons, or the new world order, they love the idea that there's one central address for all of the areas in the world. once they've identified to the evil then they believe somehow they can spite it and expose it. >> something i find i had did i otic is nothing ever remains a secret. they can't keep classified information secret. the idea that the news media is in the government so there were secret meetings. it's so ludicrous. did you notice a common strain when you were looking into these conspiracy theories?
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>> yeah, there is, at least the vast majority of them. whether it was directly an obama administration plot or agents loosely tied with the liberal movement. the common threat among all of these in order to make the country willing to give up their guns. in other words, this tragedy would happen and we would have a discussion about gun control as we are now and it would lay the groundwork for a future tie ran anythingal regime. >> the internet have allowed more isolated people to find each other, right? >> yeah, absolutely. one of the chapters of my book i talk about how the internet has turbo charged the conspiracy theory movement. the bill challenge used to be getting the worth out.
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now conspiracy theorists, they don't try to go to that. they can create their own echo chambers who all share the same -- if i correct something. it is true a majority of the sandy hook ideas say it happened around gun control. >> why would the -- how did the israelis get involved in this? the idea is it's a stat operation. these are people who have identified evil in the universe. they think it's the jews. they think it's some way to
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train them whether it's 9/11, they find some way to believe that all the evil was caused by this one group of act offers who they hate. >> you divide them into two camps, cranks and fire brand. what's the difference? >> the fire brand is the young folks, sometimes 9/11 on the anniversary you'll see people marg. there have been since then young people on the university camp. people in their 40s or 50s. often people with a technological design. they're almost always men for reasons i explained in my book. they're often mild mannered individuals. one of the leaders was a teacher named david ray griffin. he's a theo lodge began. they're drawn to the mission and i love that if we unraveled that, i'll get to the source of all the world to keep. it's up believable to me.
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jonathan k, thank you very much. joining us right now is erica lafferty, who's the daughter of dawn had you had spring who was killed in the shooting, i assume you were watching our broadcast. what did you want to say? it's just kind of amusing to me honestly. i was looking for a video online, i think it was last night actually. i found a ten-minute video saying i played my mom in the movies. the crease from her hair matched the actress's sun glass crease, which is crazy because my mom had short hair. she hadn't had long hair in almost a year, more at that point.
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their lack of information that they're putting in to create this conspiracy theory. like it's not even accurate information that he's using to formulate it. the idea, again, we wouldn't normally go over this or give them air time on this program. we're not naming these websites. the fact that an associate professor from a university is saying or suggesting, kind of throwing out the idea that crisis actors were somehow hired to -- i'm not even sure to do what. when you hear that that's coming from an associate professor. >> i think it's a disgrease to the community worldwide that someone would be whittled the entire situation, belittle 26 families, stock mums that had to lift through here that day. honestly, it's disgusting.
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>> do you think the university should do something or do you think it's just, you know, people should know about and move on? >> i briefly thought i think it was someone from the university saying it didn't have any affiliation with them. hearing them speak out and saying absolutely not for approving it, but to have someone like that on staff. i know the university i worked for definitely wouldn't tolerate that. >> erica, i'm sorry yomming up on the 1 h month anniversary. i can't imagine what you have to hear about and deal with. i appreciate you taking the time to call in. i wish you the best. >> thank you very much. and thank you for voicing the truth. >> thank you, erica. appreciate it. erica lafferty, daughter of dawn huckspring. i tweeted this earlier, @andersoncooper. do you think somebody should do something?
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the professor will give him a fair hearing. up next, is there a link between gun violence and violent games. we'll talk to an fbi profiler when we come back. >> announcer: "anderson cooper 360" brought to you by t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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keeping them honest on the notion of gun violence. vice president biden met today with representatives of the video game industry. the newtown killer was obsessed with video games as others have been. people are concerned that bloody games, gory videos are doing bad
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things to our kids. you can see why culture would be part of the conversation. pro or antigun, republican or democrat, a lot of people agree. >> this violent video game with names like bullet storm, grand theft auto, mortal combat, and slater house -- >> the violence in the entertainment culture. >> what about the violence in our video games. >> the depiction of these assault weapons again and again. >> violence, the realism in games and movies. >> the corrosive influence of a violent oriented world. >> you get the idea. keeping them honest though, there's not a lot of good science behind them. because of that different studies have reached different conclusions. two headlines and comprehensive reviews tell the story. first, from iowa state university, quote, isu study proves conclusively that violent play makes more aggressive kids.
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here's one from ars technicha. metta analysis uncovers no real link between violence and the gaming. as video games have soared, violence by mail since age 24 has been going down, plummeting. that's according to the cdc. many other countries with big sales of video games have a low rate of violent youth crime. is violent media and bad actors useful. former fbi profiler mary ellen o'tolle joins us now. she's the author of "dangerous instincts." you think there is a link between violent games and violence. how so? >> i do. for a small group of troubled
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add less cents or young men, in my experience and in my research as an fbi profiler, i have found that there is not a cause and effect. they did not cause violence, but for these young people you are already contemplating carrying out acts of violence or acting out in a violent way. these videos and very violent websites and violent movies can actually fuel what's already there. it can help desensitize to acting out violently. it really erodes away at their sense of sympathy and compassion.
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it treats human beings as objects. the small group of people are already considering acting out violently. >> just to push back on this. just to play devil's advocate. if there's a group of disturbed people that you are describing, if there weren't violent video games, isn't there something else that might push them over the edge?
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>> sure. i wouldn't suggest these are pushing them over the edge. when we do a threat assessment at someone, we don't just look at whether they're looking at violent videos. violent behavior is complicated. we look at are they saturated in a world where all they consider is violence. in the research we did back in the late 90s and 2,000s, was there a constant violence theme. that was one of many variables that enabled us to say this threat that they're posing really elevates itself to a high number of threat. it's one of many. for that troubled group who's already thinking about it and thinking about acting out violently, it can fuel it. >> so it's not just video games you're talking about. somebody who is a disturbed individual might be drawn more to violent video games or violent movies or tv shows? >> yes. >> yes. it's very difficult to say if someone is obsessed with violent videos, it's predictive. we have to keep that in mind when we're determining this person over here is one we need to be more concerned be about. this person over here we're less concerned about because of all of these factors. their preoccupation is one of many things. >> mary ellen o'tolle, i appreciate you being on. in an awkward choice of words, vice president biden said there is no secret tool. which ones if any will congress actually agree on. number of otherwise hard line nra supporters have recently considered regulating high
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capacity magazines. with me, charles blow and ross is with us as well. appreciate you being with us. ross, this focus on video games, does it feel like it might be a stand in. do you think this is a culture that produces this criminal? >> well, i think in the case of joe biden and the task force, it's a situation that they're trying to cover all the cultural bases. i think obviously the most polarizing debate we're having is about guns. i feel like there's almost a general consensus where a lot of the people would agree with the profiler. it's not surprising to see an association in particular with video games and violence. that doesn't mean it's causing murder rates to go up. they're not. neither here nor around the
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world. it's similar to the debate we had in the '80ed and '90ed over hard core pornography. there may actually be something where those kind of things, be it pornography or video games, are serving as an outlet to act out fantasies rather than in real life. if the situation where as a society we almost need to be able to say violent video games, hard core porn, these things are bad even though they aren't causing the crime rate to go up. >> but we're always looking for more. what do you make of that? >> i think that he's right in the sense that it probably adds
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to the -- a person who's already disturbed. it already pushes the person with the idea that it desensitizes all of us as a culture. that's another thing that's important to remember when we shooting and killing and even though murder rates have gone down, the actual number of shootings continues to rise. the reason that the murder rate goes down and that the shooting goes up, we are better able to respond to the calls. better medicines. so we need to take the focus off of who's getting killed and why that number keeps going down and look at how mean people are getting shot and whether or not those shootings which are on the rise can be pinned to anything whether that be a proliferation of guns, whether that be a violent culture, whatever? do you think there has been a tipping point? >> i think there will be
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changes. don't look at it like the health care debate. look at this as the first step that should be a step among mini threats. whatever comes of this whether you get a thoughtless sander, anyone that you get is close to a solution that you do nothing. >> ross, do you see this more as a setup for the elections in 2014 and 2016? >> i think so in part. i think the president will have something that is sort of moderate enough and in certain ways, you know, minor enough
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that it has some actual chance of passing the senate and more importantly the house. something that seems reasonable enough that in the fairly high likely scenario that it doesn't pass, they can take it to the public in 2014 and honestly what's on the table right now
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seems to be some combination of tougher background checks. i think that, i mean, charles and i probably agree that both of those are unlikely to make a difference in terms of gun violence. it's hard to turn off and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and may be fatal. intermezzo should not be taken if you have taken another sleep medicine at bedtime or in the middle of the night or drank alcohol that day. do not drive or operate machinery
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until at least 4 hours after taking intermezzo and you're fully awake. driving, eating, or engaging in other activities while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, or confusion. alcohol or taking other medicines that make you sleepy may increase these risks. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. intermezzo, like most sleep medicines, has some risk of dependency. common side effects are headache, nausea, and fatigue. so if you suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia, ask your doctor about intermezzo and return to sleep again. ♪
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welcome back. i don't want to shoot you. those might have been the last words that teacher ryan heber ever heard. the teacher just shot a classmate and he was pointing a .12 gauge shotgun at the teacher. i don't want to shoot you. he might have and he might have gone on to shoot others. more of the remarkable story. >> reporter: what happened
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inside taft union high school began as a plan the day before in the mind of a bullied 16-year-old boy. authorities say it was here at his home just a few blocks from the high school where the boy gathered his brother's shotgun and two dozen rounds and then walked into the science building midway through first period. >> we have video of him entering the school trying to conceal the shotgun. the video shows that he's extremely nervous. >> reporter: officers say the boy walked to the front of his classroom and opened fire striking a 16-year-old classmate at near point blank range. as students began to flee trying to hide in closets and run out of the room, another shot. this one missed its target, another 16-year-old boy. morgan al bridge was in the classroom and tells tv station kbak that the gunman began calling out a name. >> after he said a student's name and the student popped up and he apologized. >> he apologized for what?
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>> bullying, freshman year. >> then the classroom's teacher ryan heber stepped in between the .12 gauge shotgun and the fleeing students. he spoke to the boy like his friend. investigators say the boy told heber, i don't want to shoot you. meanwhile, the school's counselor helped distract the gunmen while the rest of the 28 students escaped. >> this teacher and this counselor stood there face to face not knowing whether he was going to turn that shotgun on them. their conversation, whatever he said, compelled him to put the firearm down. >> heber who was a graduate of the high school was hit in the
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head by a stray shotgun pellet. he always thinks of others
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first, says his father, who he now calls his hero. goin , you're out like at? yeah, why? well, what would the neighbors think? i see you! c'mon, get mister feather! look what i have. mister bird. remember?
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quack quack quack! we're just playing! we're just playing! i'm trying to get you out of there! even still... announcer: you don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. there are thousands of teens in foster care who don't need perfection, they need you.
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in case you're wondering whether to get a flu shot or not. i've got three things to say, california, hawaii, mississippi. according to the cdc, those are the only three states in the country where the flu is not widespread. the only three states
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relatively, i say relatively untouched by the flu. with that in mind, we're going to find one way this spreads. take a look. randi kaye presents the anatomy of the sneeze.
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>> reporter: with the flu so widespread riding the subways these days makes new yorkers think twice. so many new yorkers thinking,
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can i get it? we asked dr. len horowicz ride the subway with us and help us understand the power of sneeze. all it takes is one good achoo to send 30,000 droplets barrelling in your direction at about 100,000 miles an hour. they can quickly make dozens of commuters within a few feet very sick. if a person used his hand to cover his sneeze, look out. now if someone sneezed and grabbed this poll to hang on to, they're going to leave germs behind and then i hang onto it and i pick them up. then i touch my hands on the seat. i'm going to leave those germs behind for the next unsuspecting commuter and is it spreads from there. and dr. hor 00 vicz says germs are so hearty they can survive overnight.
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the mysterious poisoning
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a 360 follow on a bizarre story in chicago about a man who won a million dollars in the lottery and a month later he was dead. prompting from a relative made
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authorities take another look. sure enough, testing showed a lethal amount of cyanide in his
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system. no one has been named a suspect. today the judge ruled his body will be exhumed. ron savage has been investigating. i spoke to him earlier.
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>> reporter: when the request came in today to exhume the body, the judge ruled yes. >> yes. mainly because there were no objections. i believe the victim's older brother was there and the sister. nobody objected. it seemed like there was a clear path for law enforcement to take and the judge approved. i also know from having conversations with the widow, she goes along with that. she wants the body exhumed. she wants the truth to come out. >> they've already run the tests on the blood and tissue samples and that's how they determined it was a homicide. what more do they hope to find out how the poison got into his body? >> yeah. when he died originally this was ruled as natural causes so he was buried. as a result, now that they know it was a homicide, well, you do a much more different autopsy, you do a much more thorough investigation of the body. they never did that. now they'll go back. they have the order from the judge and they will dig up his body and they will now, i presume, start looking at the contends of the stomach, they'll start looking at other organs and try to determine what kind of cyanide was used and how was it delivered. that's the big question they want to answer. >> partially it will be determined by the state they find the body in. it was a relatively recent burial, wasn't it? >> it was. that was the question. what kind of state is the body in, is mr. caan in. say that he's degraded a lot, that means the evidence inside of him is degraded. basically the medical examiner told me that you really won't know until you go in and look and so that's what we're going to do. >> have the place named anyone in particular. obviously a lot of questions about the wife, you know, have been voiced publicly by observers. have the police actually said anybody is a suspect? >> no, they haven't. police have been extremely tight-lipped about this. they won't tell you anything really about their investigation
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other than it is a murder investigation at this particular point. clearly the widow feels that she is at the top of everybody's list when it comes to a suspect and that only adds to her personal anguish with the loss of her husband, she knows that everybody is kind of of whispering and pointing fingers because she was the one that prepared the meal that was served that night. there are varying accounts as to whether he actually ate it or not. we don't know. she has been very intensely interviewed by authorities, several hours. she continues to cooperate. there was also a search warrant carried out on her home. there were a number of hings we don't knw exactlyat y kw w 3 eneler or time ors >> i guess at this point we just don't know. the people that i've spoken
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time for the ridiculist.
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we have the story of a news anchor for ireland's rte news who seems to ask himself a ridiculous question. i have time to touch up my makeup before we're live on the air, right? the answer was sadly, no. >> what? speaking is one trained broadcast professor to another, let me break it down for you. being a news anchor is serious business. one must be in control. rule number one, you always have to be aware of whether one is on the air or not. now i know that i've always
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excelled in this area and have never, ever slipped up. so here at this point in the show we're usually doing much different -- much different -- much more different. what? oh, hey, sorry. didn't realize we were on the air. see, what? that's the universal response when an anchor realizes they're on the air. okay. it totally happened to me. it's live tv. that's going to happen. that's part of the magic. right at this moment i could -- no, it's okay. i'm good. i'm good on tv. at any moment i could erupt into an uncontrolable coughing fit. the power could go out or i could flub a story and get all tongue-tied. that brings us back to our new favorite rte anchor. in 40 years since the launch of apollo 17, a among those remembering the flight, its commander, enterprise -- his commander who said he thought his voyage -- i beg your pardon -- i beg your pardon. i try that again. a man has -- can we just go back to the very start of it? >> yeah. i like the way he handled that. when all else fails, ask the teleprompter to take it from the top.

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Anderson Cooper 360
CNN January 12, 2013 1:00am-2:00am PST

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